Business news from Ukraine

Cabinet of Ministers canceled permission to import products to Ukraine with label not in state language

The Cabinet of Ministers has canceled the legislative norm introduced on March 9, which allows importers of food products to import these products into the country, even if the information on the product packaging is not in Ukrainian.
Thus, food market operators can now only import products with a label in the state language, Taras Melnichuk, a representative of the Cabinet of Ministers in the Verkhovna Rada, said in a Telegram channel.
The government made the corresponding change to Decree No. 234 of March 9, 2022 at a meeting on Friday.
“It is excluded … the rule on the temporary possibility for the period of martial law of the sale of food products in the customs territory of Ukraine, information about which is set out in a language other than the state language. It has been established that such food products imported into the territory of Ukraine from March 9 to December 1 can to be in circulation on the customs territory of Ukraine until the expiration of the minimum shelf life or the deadline for consumption (the “use by” date),” Melnychuk said in the message.
Thus, the amended regulation retains the possibility for importers of animal feed to import these products labeled in a language other than the state language.
In addition, the legislative norm remains in force that the labeling of food and feed imported to Ukraine as humanitarian aid can be submitted in a language other than the state language.
The regulation also allows the use of leftover packaging or containers for food and feed left after the closure of enterprises that stopped working as a result of hostilities. In the future, such containers can be used for packaging similar products manufactured at other enterprises.

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The European Business Association (EBA) has called to annul the excise label for wine, as it does not help to fight counterfeit products, while creates additional expenses for manufacturers, the press service of the association has reported.
According to the EBA, Ukrainian legislation requires the application of an excise label on all beverages with an ethyl alcohol content of more than 8.5% ABV. At the same time, wines with 1.2-15% ABV are subject to excise tax at a rate of UAH 0.01 per liter, while the value of the label is UAH 0.19 per piece. Alcohol importers also bear the cost of sending labels abroad.
“According to the calculations of the member companies of the association, there are UAH 278.6 of additional expenses per UAH 1 of the paid excise tax. Moreover, the major part of the sum does not go to the budget of Ukraine, but remains abroad,” the EBA said.
According to the EU regulations on labeling and protection of names of origin of alcoholic beverages, which Ukraine will have to adapt, beer from malt, grape wines, vermouth, cider and ethyl alcohol are not considered to be alcoholic beverages. Consequently, their quality control in Ukraine should not take place with the help of excise labels, but according to the general legislation on product safety, the EBA said.
“The products with alcohol content up to 8.5% ABV do not apply the excise labels. However, the safety control of such products is carried out. Therefore, it is reasonable to introduce the same logic for products with 1.2-15% ABV,” the EBA reports.
According to the press service, to abolish the excise labels, it is necessary to make changes to the Tax Code. “The business has already submitted the relevant proposals to the government. We hope that they will be taken into account in the near future,” the EBA said.

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